Messaging remains driver of mobile ad market

Cathal O’Toole, Jinny Software
Mobile network operators are hard-pressed to tap new revenue streams to keep their businesses buoyant amid ever-decreasing user revenues from traditional services. Mobile ads add to operators’ range of options for fresh revenues from new services, content and existing resources.
 
While some analysts were professing in early 2009 a slowdown in the take-up of mobile ad due to the recession, it seems that by the end of the year it was the traditional ad industry that had felt the pinch. The new comer on the block, mobile advertising, actually saw an increase in its use globally.
 
In the more sophisticated markets of Asia, brands and ads have for a long time been employing banner adverts. More recently, the brands have been placing targeted ads into applications. Some of the advertising is passive -- simply placing brand images on screens when the devices are idle -- while others are interactively eliciting reader or viewer response and engagement.
 
Much of the growing success of browsing and app ads is a direct result of the increase in the use and availability of smartphones, particularly across Asia, with more time being spent accessing the internet on such devices. The ability to accurately segment, profile and consequently target users with available and detailed data is a major reason for such success. Industry observers expect that in the future campaign success will be based on the purchase statistics by the consumers and not simply their behavior. Did they just look or did they buy?
 
If we take the UK as an example of how things are moving in Europe, data from the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers show that the entertainment and media sectors accounted for 61% of mobile ad spend. This reached £37.6 million (about $56 million) in 2009 when search and display were the two main mechanisms of ad delivery.
 

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